Why we chose French calfskin for our leather

Why we chose French calfskin for our leather

La beauté de l'authenticité

It is the oldest material in human utility history. Leather. Animal skins adorned and endured for centuries. It is the beauty of their second life that is so transfixing. Transforming a hide from a functional, life preserving existence, to one of service and beauty is almost a religious ritual--with family secrets tucked in dusty drawers all over the world to preserve rites that have existed for hundreds of years. 

“Finding the right leather is kind of a Lazarus story,” Curtis Calder says. “There is this month’s long process that brings new life. I love visiting our tannery in France. It has been a family run business for 500 years, resurrecting the very best characteristics of hides in a way that makes them endure for generations.”

French Calfskin is the most durable, yet supple leather to be found. But it is the secrets in the tannery that bring it to life. Curtis explored over 80 tanneries searching for old-world artisanship before landing in France. “I wanted each product to have its own personality, to improve with age,” Curtis continues. “It’s very difficult to find top-tier leather, the right tannery, and the consistency in craftsmanship to meet the demands of the products we are creating. But we did. And we know our customers will feel and see the quality.”

Leather is produced in a broad range of qualities, for an even broader range of uses: from cowhide for boots and saddles, to full-grain for Italian and French shoes and handbags. It begins with the quality of the cows. The best hides are chosen by our tannery and hand processed over multiple steps to bring out their unique beauty. Each hide is double-tanned, aniline dyed and infused with wax and oil.  The result is leather that holds its shape and finish for more than a lifetime. The rich patina is actually self-healing, so nicks and scratches disappear and the finish ages, creating a one-of-a-kind look.

The edges are burnished to make them more resilient and beautiful. Even the thread was handpicked by Curtis from Germany because of its resilience and resistance to abrasion. “It’s not like stitching together fabric,” Curtis says. “Leather requires the grain to run in the direction that’s best for the shape of the bag. Each cut and stitch has to be carefully planned. In the end, the contours of the bag move with the grain. It’s what makes fine leather so special.” 

There’s something very personal about a bag crafted on such rich traditions, yet classically modern in design. The tactile experience, the visual aesthetic, the perfection in the stitching and the depth of the color. It’s an authentic beauty that takes generations to master, and results in artisanship that lasts even longer.

la beauté dure pour toujours

1 comment

  • Lansing on

    I know your company makes fine leather products, that’s why I am asking you this question. If I want a couch or chair made from very fine leather, what would I ask for as far as quality?

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